The picture above is from the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed before he was arrested. In the garden, a place that should represent peace and tranquility, Jesus poured out his heart in sorrow and anguish. In Matthew 26:39 Jesus prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” We see Jesus praying a short prayer, but also a profound one. His prayer shows the reality of what he felt in his situation, but also his complete surrender to the greater purposes of God. That can be a difficult place to be. Many times we can “surrender” to God with a begrudging attitude and not admit how we really feel. In those times, we fall into a state of legalism and simply doing things out of obligation. Other times we might express to God our true feelings and then decide to do things our own way. As sinful humans, we are pretty good at deciding that we somehow know better. It is a true art to be both honest with God and submissive to his will. Jesus modeled that for us perfectly. He not only expressed his grief, but asked God to take his cup away. He didn’t want to have to die on the cross and endure the events of the next few days. But at the same time, Jesus also loved us and knew that if this was the only way to save humanity, he would absolutely surrender to the Father. I’m so glad he did!
Do you model that type of prayer for your family? Are you open and honest about your feelings before God? Do you also model trust and surrender when things get difficult?
This short prayer of Jesus can be extremely convicting! As you seek to pray more like him I’d encourage you this week to read through Jesus’ prayer in John 17 to see what other insights you might have as you pray.